THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: A great little set of books


THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES by Holly Black Although the book in The Spiderwick Chronicles were originally published separately (five in all), I knew it was only a matter of time...

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Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 3 & Volume 4


The Buying of Lot 37: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 3 Who’s a Good Boy?: Welcome to Night Vale Episodes, Volume 4 by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor So many spiders....

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Naamah’s Kiss: Carey’s prose is as lush and sensual as ever


Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey In Naamah’s Kiss, Jacqueline Carey returns to the world she created in the Kushiel’s Legacy series, and introduces a delightful...

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The Magician’s Land: A big and beautiful finish


The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman The Magician’s Land, by Lev Grossman, is a superb finish to what is one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. I read it elated,...

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Recent Posts

Rise of the Vicious Princess: A smartly written YA princess novel

Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

I get a big kick out of reading books not specifically for my demographic. Actually, let me rephrase that. I enjoy reading books that I assume are not written for my demographic. I’m a guy, so stories about princesses are off the table. Perhaps you’re a girl and that John Wick in Space book is not supposed to be your cup of tea. I beg to differ, and love to step outside my comfort zone and read material that is not necessarily written with me in mind. It was under that assumption that I picked up Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine.

The story follows Charis Willowthorn (pronounced Kaw-Ris), the teenage princess of the Fantasy Medieval-ish realm called Calera. Calera is a fairly prosperous country that shares a war-torn continent with a few other kingdoms. They have fancy balls filled with courtesans and fancy folk of one kind or another. Court poli... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 12, 2022

Marion: Right now I’m beta-reading a friend’s manuscript about a friendship between two women; one a resident of an assisted living facility and the other a volunteer there. I’m also more than halfway through Rosewater, Book One of the WORMWOOD trilogy by Tade Thompson, and wondering why I overlooked this one for so long!

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading another top-notch supernatural horror novel that is available nowhere else today except Ramble House. The book in question this week is Walter S. Masterman’s Read More

Ithaca: An engrossing story

Ithaca by Claire North

Ithaca (2022), by Claire North, is another in a recent spate line of Greek myth retellings, with the source material here being The Odyssey and the House of Atreus storyline (Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, Orestes). North greatly narrows the focus here in setting, time, and plot, lasering in what was happening at the periphery or in the gaps of those epic tales, giving voice especially though not solely to the women on the edges of those stories. It’s a wonderfully voiced, thoughtful reimagining story and a strong entry point into a new series.

That fantastically wry and sharp voice belongs to Hera, who narrates the book from her godly perch, able to see all and transport herself wherever necessary. The bite in her voice makes itself known immediately, as when she describes Ithaca as “a thoroughly backwards wretched place” and labels Athena a “priggish little mad... Read More

WWWednesday: September 7, 2022

The Hugo winners were announced on September 4. Arkady Martine took home Best Novel for A Desolation Called Peace, Becky Chambers gathered up the Best Novella award for A Psalm for the Wild-Built, and Sarah Pinsker won Best Short Story for “Where Oaken Hearts do Gather. Best Series went to Seanan McGuire for THE WAYWARD CHILDREN, and Read More

The Final Girl Support Group: Good thriller if you are adept at suspending disbelief

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The title of Grady Hendrix’s 2021 novel might make you think it’s a horror story in the slasher-movie style, and there are plenty of nods to horror here. Actually, the book is a thriller, and as a thriller it works pretty well. Hendrix intersperses the thriller with some dark, zany humor, trauma-fueled angst, and toxic sisterhood rants, but the story’s at its best when our main character, Lynette, is on the run from, well, everybody.

The Final Girl Support Group opens with Lynette preparing to attend that very group. Lynette has turned her LA slum-neighborhood apartment into a bunker. She does self-defense drills before setting out, hyper-vigilant, to attend the group she participates in every week with five other women, all in their late thirties, who survived not one but two bl... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 4, 2022

Kat: I’m so busy at the beginning of a new academic year. I’m teaching an extra class this semester, a large freshmen-level general education course, so that’s taking a lot of my time. But since you heard from me last (it’s been a while), I’ve read Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS series (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago), three of Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD Read More

Abe Sapien (Vol. 3): Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man: Two more dark, mid-apocalyptic stories

Abe Sapien (Vol. 3): Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man by Mike Mignola (writer), Scott Allie (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Sebastian Fiumara (art), and Max Fiumara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)

“Dark and Terrible” starts with the discussion of the continuing developments around the world: the rise of the monsters. The B.P.R.D. discuss what to do about the monsters and talk about what has happened to Abe Sapien. Meanwhile, in a train car, hobos discuss the monsters while Abe, wrapped up in a disguise, listens in on their conspiracy theories. When one of the men abruptly takes off Abe’s disguise, a fight erupts only until the train stops and the B.P.R.D. start their search of the train cars for Abe. Abe, however, manages to escape into the woods and goes on the run again.

The question being explored in this story is the continuing one of what created Abe and his more recent changes and why h... Read More

Fandom, The Next Generation

Fandom, The Next Generation edited by Bridget Kies & Megan Connor

Fandom, The Next Generation
, edited by Bridget Kies and Megan Connor is a collection of essays exploring, unsurprisingly, fandom, but with a particular focus on transgenerational sources and fan communities. I.e., those fandoms centered around “rebooted or perpetually rebroadcast media texts” whose long-lived and/or resurrected nature maintains and creates several generations of fans — those who came to the text in its original form, those who discovered the text in later years, and those who came to the text as an adaptation or reboot. Think the many decades of the various Star Wars films or Dr. Who shows, the long-running but also rebooted Star Trek universe, but also non-SF/Fantasy works such as the multitude of Jane Austen adaptations over the past decades.

The collection is divided into three broad ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in August 2022 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page.

One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose one of these prizes:

a FanLit T-shirt (we have sizes M, L, XL)
a book from Read More

WWWednesday: August 31, 2022

File 770 posted its Filers locations and meet-ups during ChiCon8, which is this year’s WorldCon.

Casey Fiesler posted a thoughtful article about the internet and privacy. No innovations or new revelations here, just a considered look at fanfiction, emotional support and unintended consequences.

Vanity publishers are still around and still predatory, as this column in LitHub attests.

Thanks to File 770 for this article about Robby, the Security ... Read More